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Some Forum Posts:

Philippines: Rental Question:

We plan to move to Manila this year and have been searching some rental properties. Many of the rental properties require: 1. Post-dated checks to cover monthly rent for each month (e.g. 12 months) 2. Pay all up front. I know it is almost impossible to open a bank account without an ACR I card. We also try to avoid bringing a large amount of cash with us. I would like to know how the fellow expats deal with this situation. Thank you

Mexico: INM Queretaro:

I submitted my application to change my immigration status from Temporary Visa to Permanent Visa on 11/07/2017 and am still waiting for an application approval as of today. History 11/07/2017 Submitted my application at INM Queretaro 12/01/2017 Submitted extra documents requested by INM Queretaro. I was informed by INM that my case would be processed within 3 days. 01/08/2018 Visited INM Queretaro. No update was gived by INM. 01/26/2018 Visited INM Queretaro. I was informed by INM that my case would be processed within a week. I should receive an e-mail notification. 01/26/2018 The status has changed to "Registre los datos para la expedición de su documento migratorio". 02/07/2018 My case is still pending. At this point, I am not sure how long it will take for INM Queretaro to process my pending case as well as others. Now I feel that this is the retaliation purpose because I am an American (I may be completely wrong). I found the following new article. The same supervisor, Enrique Espinoza Lopez, managed the operation incorrectly (and purposely). I just want to know whether someone else had a simiar experience.

Portugal: Portugal Residence Visa:

My wife and I currently live in Mexico and plan to move to Portugal in 2018. We will apply for a residence visa but have some questions. 1. Proof of Sufficient Fund We plan to submit our bank account statements. Do they need to be translated to Portuguese? Has anyone used an international credit card to fulfill this requirement? 2. Medical Insurance I want to know how others have dealt with this requirement. Is there any way to buy a medical insurance in Portugal outside the country? Thank you

Mexico: Visa Temporal to Permanente:

I received my visa temporal 11 months ago and need to renew (or change) my visa next month. I know that I can apply for a visa permanente after having 4 years of it or 2 years with a Mexican spouse. Now I wonder if I can change the status of my visa from TEMPORAL to PERMANENTE by submitting my financial statement that has more than 25,000 times of the minimum wage in Mexico City (about $105,000 USD). That is what I found in the INM website. I just wonder if anyone has this experience. Thank you in advance

Mexico: Temp Visa Extension & Address Change at the Same Time:

Has anyone experienced a temporary visa extension and an address change at the same time? I will move to a new residence by the end of October. My temporary visa will expire on 11/10/2017. Do I need to submit those two requests to INM separately? Can I do both at the same time? Thank you

Mexico: Queretaro Good or Bad?:

We live in Queretaro. Queretaro is not truly a colonial city but more like an industrial city with unplanned city development and heavy traffic. The only colonial part of the city is "el centro histrico". Since we have our family members here, we live here for now. But we would move out of Queretaro and would rather live in a small city instead. BTW, I am not sure whether Queretaro is the tech center of Mexico. There are many foreign manufacturing plants in Queretaro and nearby the city though.

Mexico: medications:

I take a few medicines like metformin for diabetes, atorvastatin for cholesterol and allopurinol for gout. I usually buy those at the local pharmacies without prescriptions. Atorvastatin is a bit expensive in Mexico. Buy 3 and the 4th is free at Sam's Club. Otherwise, those generic medicines are very cheap in Mexico.

Mexico: transporting pets:

I don't think that any fees are charged at the Mexican custom. But you must have certain health and vaccination certificates issued by the designated vets. In our case, we crossed the border and took a flight from Tijuana. We had to take our dog to the local vet in Tijuana and paid $40 for rabies and health certificates. Then we took them to the airline counter when we checked in.

Mexico: Mail to PO Box:

I need to file my state tax return via mail (but not electronically) to a PO Box. The state tax department doesn't provide a physical address. Therefore, I cannot use FedEx or UPS to mail my tax return. Does anyone know how I can mail my tax return from Mexico to a PO Box in the United States? I prefer to avoid using a Mexican postal service. Thank you

Mexico: Expats in Queretaro:

We recently moved to Juriquilla and are still trying to find things in Queretaro. The rent isn't bad here due to the recent strong USD rally. There are many rentals under 10,000 pesos in Juriquilla. But the majority of them are unfurnished, though. We used the following site to find our rental home and contacted the agents listed.

Mexico: Resident Visa:

I went to the local INM office for fingerprints on 11/29/2016 and was told that my immigration card would be ready between 7 and 10 days. But I haven't received my card and any notification as of today. The last update on my INM account is still "Se emitió ofició" with the date of 29/11/2016. I have questions. 1. Does INM refer to business days or calendar days? 10 business days: 12/13/2016 10 calendar days: 12/09/2016 2. Is this a common problem? Should I visit the INM office? If this delay is common, I would wait for a few more days to save a trip. Thank you

Mexico: Private Health Insurance in Mexico for Expats:

We are currently visiting Queretaro. We talked to a few insurance agents (AXA, Mapfre, and New York Life) for a private health insurance. The quotes from the agents are anywhere between 30,000 and 36,000 pesos a year ($1,560 USD and $1,872 USD). The cost depends on ages and # of people in the family. We are in the 40's and have no kids.

Mexico: Just found out Bank of American has agreement with a Mexico Bank:

I have been using State Farm Bank, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab in Mexico and other foreign countries. The ATM fees are reimbursed. The exchange rate is published in the Visa USA Exchange Rates site and is usually much better than "la casa de cambio".

Mexico: Mail Forwarding Services in Queretaro:

We plan to move to Queretaro this year and want to find if there is a mail forwarding service company in Queretaro. We are looking for a similar service to La Conexion in San Miguel de Allende.

Mexico: much do I need?:

My wife and I also plan to move to Queretaro this year. We will visit there later this month and try to find a rental home. $800 should be more than enough unless you want to rent a large home (4 or 5 BR). Our budget is $600 a month. We lived in Mexico about 5 years ago and will go back again. The exchange rate wasn't great in 2011 as it is today. I am not sure if this helps you or not. Here is our budget list (USD). Rent: $600 Groceries: $300 Utilities (Elec, Gas & Water): $85 Internet: $35 Cell Phone (2 lines w/AT&T Mexico): $65 Anyway, we will attend a cooking school in Queretaro and budget $3,000 a month. $3,000 is a lot of money in Mexico. If we cannot live well with that amount, we must be crazy. That is what my wife told me.

Mexico: Moving to Queretaro:

We also plan to Queretaro this year and are looking for a house in Juriquilla, Mirador and Milenio with a budget of 10,000 pesos a month.

Peru: Apartment in Lima:

Is it reasonable to budget an apartment cost in decent neighborhoods with $600 USD a month? Apartments in Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco appear to be more expensive. My wife and I will visit Lima this summer and try to find an apartment for our permanent move later this year. I have another question. Are there many pet-friendly apartments in Lima? We will bring our golden retriever to Lima with us. I appreciate your help in advance.

Ecuador: Cedula and Birth Certificate:

I was surfing this forum and found a topic about a cedula. A birth certificate doesn't seem to be required for an investor visa but does require for a cedula. I was born in the Central America and grew up in the United States. I have a US naturalization certificate but don't have my own birth certificate. Do I really need a birth certificate to apply for a cedula? Is there any alternative document to replace a birth certificate?

Colombia: Moving to Medellin after Sudden Forced Retirement:

I wasn't expecting this. All of sudden, this happened. I just lost my job a few weeks ago. I discussed our future with my wife and decided to put a period in my current career. Now we are planning to move to Medellin this summer. We have a few questions for ex-pats in Colombia (more specifically in Medellin). 1. Gastronomy School There are many gastronomy schools in Medellin. I want to pursue my dream of studying gastronomy there for 2 years. Has anyone studied gastronomy in Medellin? Can you share your experience if you have done so or any information? 2. Visa Which visa is better to apply for - Student Visa or Rentista? My wife and I still have more than 10 years to collect social security checks and cannot apply for a pension visa. We receive $2,500 from our rental properties and $500 from our stock/ETF dividends monthly. If we can prove a certain amount of assets (stocks, ETFs, savings, etc.), can we apply for a rentista visa? 3. Budget This is our main concern. Our budget in the United States is around $4,000 a month. We wonder if $2,500 to $3,000 a month is enough for us to live comfortably in Medellin for next 5 years. We also need a health insurance coverage and need to rent an apartment in decent areas. I truly appreciate your help. Thank you

Colombia: Long-Term Visa Questions:

I was looking for the information below but could not find definite answers. Can anyone help me in the questions below? 1. How long does it usually take for the Colombian consulate in US to issue a long-term visa once the application is submitted? 2. Once the long-term visa is issued, how soon do I need to enter Colombia? Thanks

Colombia: pets?:

Relating to this topic, I would like to know if it is easy to find an apartment rental that allows us to have a dog. We have a Golden Retriever and must bring him with us to Colombia.

Colombia: Is it me or is Medellin not that friendly?:

LaPiranha, I love your panaderia story. I have seen the same atmosphere in many Latin countries like Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia...even in San Diego, San Jose and LA. I am very tied with Mexicans (I used to live in Mexico and Honduras). Just like many people in US, they become friendly once we start talking to them. In my city (US Southwest), no one even greets strangers on the street. I always try to say a hi to strangers while I am jogging or walking. But some even ignore me completely. This may be a city attitude. There are also culture and language barriers. Even my wife is a native Spanish speaker, and I myself speak Spanish somehow fluently. Our Spanish is a little different from Spanish spoken in Colombia. Colombians occasionally looked us weired because we spoke differently (expressions, vocabularies, etc.). Medellin is considered a big city in Colombia. There must exist a certain degree of the city attitude in Medellin. The barrier can definitely be broken once communication is established.

Colombia: Maintaining US bank and credit card accounts:

I exclusively invest my assets in the US securities and will continue this manner after My wife and I move to Colombia. I just want to stay with what I am familiar with, especially after we retire. I want to maintain my US financial accounts (e.g. Investment, Bank and Credit Cards) while living abroad. I know that many ex-pats face the same issue and would like to have your experience/opinion about this. 1. Investment Accounts Charles Schwab allows foreign residents to maintain investment accounts. This should apply to US citizens who live outside US. To transfer fund from the Schwab account to another bank is $25 per wire transaction. I prefer to set up an ACH for this. 2. Bank/Credit Card Accounts Charles Schwab offers a checking account with an investment account for US residents but does not allow foreign residents to open/maintain the checking account. All the banks and credit card companies probably require a US address. If I cannot have a US bank account, I need to wire my fund from my investment account to a local bank in Colombia. This would not work well for me. So I am thinking of renting a mailbox (e.g. UPS, PostaAnnex, etc.) and use it as my mailing address for my current bank and credit card accounts. The bottle-neck of this option is that ATM/credit cards are sent to this US address.

Colombia: TP-7:

My wife and I visited Medellin last November and are now leaning toward our retirement in Medellin. The city is very energetic and somehow organized better than other cities in Central America which we had been considering. The climate is slightly hotter than we expected. But we can rent an apartment with an A/C. Since we haven't reached age 62, we cannot receive our Social Security pension. Therefore, we are seeking a Rentista option. I found the following quote in the requirements: "the amount may not be less than the equivalent of fifteen (15) monthly minimum legal salaries" Since the minimum wage for 2016 is 689455 pesos ($210 USD), we need to prove my monthly income of $3158 USD. Is there any other option such as a minimum amount in the financial institute accounts (e.g. bank accounts, CDs, mutual funds, stocks, etc.)?

Costa Rica: Interest Rates:

Is it true that some banks offer CDs with interest rates above 8 or 9%? Does Costa Rica have a similar system to the FDIC deposit insurance? My wife and I don't put all of our assets on CDs. CDs with high interest rates are definitely alternative tools to secure our retirement fund if secured.


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